Thursday, 29 September 2011

29/9/11 Christening The Avet!

Blisteringly quick trip this one, in fact it was just an excuse to give the boat a run out after finishing work and clean the hull of accumulated weed on what was a stunningly beautiful day.
With the boat left on the mooring unused for nearly a month, the hull was looking decidedly scummy. I do need to pull her out for a quick bi-monthly scrub, but the weather's exceptionally good at the moment so it seems a shame to waste opportunities despite the huge (6.4m) tides. I also wanted to try out my latest tackle acquisition- a new Avet reel. Whizzed out to the Frode area with just the one rod and a string of feathers to try and catch a few late mackerel for bait and , something for tea.
They weren't exactly plentiful but it is nearly October so it's hardly surprising. I had a half dozen mackerel, along with a similar number of scad, several follows up from garfish-no takes, and a surprise bream in about an hour of 'fun in the sun' Fresh grilled mackerel for tea was splendid ,and the new reel?..............pretty good, I have to say.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

19-21/9/11 The River Wye.

Tim had invited me along on this three day trip to make the crew number up to four. I'd fished briefly with Tim a few years ago when I'd introduced him to mullet on the Arun, and in return he'd shown me the ways of the Adur carp resulting in me catching a superb 'twenty' from the river.
  Also along on this trip was my old mate Russell Brown who I hadn't fished with for a number of years so It was good fun to hook up with him once again, and Tim's Mate Pete-a proper character and former acquaintance of the late, great J.D.
  Having just returned from France I was late  getting up to Ross-on Wye and met up with Tim and Russ at the tackle shop at mid-day.They'd fed up some swims and had already caught a couple of barbel so it was looking promising.Both Tim and Russ added to their total that afternoon-Tim taking his first ever double and Russ taking a further five single figure barbel , but both mine and Pete's swim didn't produce.
Next day I was offered a chance in both the producing swims but, I'd invested quite a bit of bait(hemp and pellet) in my own swim and felt confident it would produce so declined both offers.It was to be the right decision.
 Five barbel picked up my pellet baits, biggest at 10-04 and 10-06 both personal bests, first doubles for me, and best fish of the trip.
  Russell's swim produced good numbers yet again-nine I think, and Both Tim and Pete did very well on another section of river which Russell and myself would fish the following day.All told, it was a red letter session.
During the afternoon the river keeper visited us for a chat and whetted my appetite with tales of thirty pound pike that had be caught from the stretch.He also encouraged me to take a trip up with my small dinghy a he felt there was so much of the river left un-fished which would undoubtedly produce big pike-food for thought indeed.He also assured us that we'd been very lucky to get three doubles from the stretch,
  The following day, in the same pairs, we swapped beats and fished a stretch where the only swims were 'cribs'-man made structures similar to groynes protruding into the fast flowing river that created slack pools behind them. There were four on this particular stretch and whilst Russ elected to fish the Tim and Pete's 'banker' from the previous day,I chose one for myself a way upstream.
With the heavy rainfall of the previous day the river actually rose about a foot while we were fishing forcing us to move up the bank.Russell took a couple of small barbel from his swim before leaving at lunchtime for home,and the only action in my swim was a lost barbel which slipped the hook after snagging some weed. With Russ departed I decided that the 'banker' had a little more space so moved in and subsequently finished the trip with a couple of nice chub-one on the very last cast.
  A cracking trip with plenty of good fish caught and no end of lively banter. I shall look forward to a revisit.


3-18/9/11 The French Connection.

Just spent the last couple of weeks touring France in the camper with my wife , and packing a couple of rods 'just in case'. The first week was spent motoring to, and about the stunning Pyrenees ,climbing the various Cols made famous by the, it has to be said masochistic Tour De France cyclists. If you get the chance, the Col Du Tormalet, and neighbouring Col d'Aubisque are every petrol head's dream whether on two or four wheels. Jan wants to take her push bike next time.
The second week was spent travelling north, and a return visit for a couple of days to Menil-a tiny village on the banks of the beautiful, River Mayenne, where we are able to camp within casting range of the water.

A couple of years ago we spent four days here and quite by chance, I found out that the river had some quite excellent carp fishing. Not the bloated artificially fed still water type, but lean, sleek, fast fish which really know how to put on a show.

 I was lucky enough to Improve my personal best river carp with the rather handsome specimen(pictured above), as well as a handful of lesser nocturnal visitors, but In the two cold, clear nights that I fished this time on this year's trip, I could not repeat the success.
Despite failing with the carp, during the day we coarse fished occasionally, with float and sweet corn, much to the amusement of the locals, and did have some fun with bream, and a lovely roach for Jan.Most of the french anglers we met were either, fishing for tiny roach which were to be used as live bait, 'vif' in the native tongue, or had multiple rods spread out over huge distances intended for either brochet, (pike) or sandre (zander) neither of which seemed to show up very often. When they did, they were consigned to the 'pot' .
Interestingly a neighbouring camper proudly showed us a silure (catfish) of a pound if it was lucky, captured on 'vif' which he was about to cook for his mutt. Apparently, the catfish, which can grow to a couple of meters or more, are not indigenous to this river system, and are held responsible for the decline in the 'toothy' predator fishing, which they prey on.I have an idea that the french's love of all things edible may also be a contributory factor.
 On our penultimate night, we stayed at a campsite complete with every amenity you could possibly want, including a fishing lake.'In season' the place would have been pure 'hell' and we would have avoided it like the plague, but at this time of year we virtually had the place  to ourselves. Actually, this sort of location,far more common in England, is a comparative rarity over there, the norm being  sites which are set in quiet,picturesque spots with pristine basic facilities and all for about a tenner a night for two with the Vee-Dub thrown in. Granted, electric hook up is usually a couple of extra Euros......not exactly extortionate! Camping being a big part of french culture , sites can be found in most towns and villages, the government run 'Camping Municipal' often being the best.
A couple of hours float fishing in the evening saw us have some fun with some 'jet propelled' carp which was highly entertaining, if a touch 'artificial' and Jan, once again, took the best specimen with this scale perfect example.
So ended our little excursion across the channel but i had a few more days leave left,and more fishy targets to pursue.